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Tag Archives: Wildflower photos

Kim and I hiked up to the top of Tiffany Mountain and then around it, crossing Whistler and Honeymoon Pass and then around Tiffany Lake before leaving the trail at Tiffany Springs Campground where we had left my car in the morning. Ken had generously shuttled us from there to the Freezeout Pass trailhead before going fly fishing. The temperature was comfortably cool most of the day; clouds built up with the threat of thunder storms. Luckily the storms did not materialize.

Most of this area was burned in the 2006 Tripod wildfire. Many people would look at this now and see nothing but dead trees. However the grasses and forbs and shrubs are thriving. Wildflowers are abundant and vibrant this month. In wetter areas we found young aspens and willows – perfect habitat for moose and other animals.

 

 

Someone else coined the term ‘cardio Wednesdays’ and I’ve taken it to heart. Three weeks in a row Luna and I have joined other dogs and women for a brisk uphill hike to someplace with a great view and wonderful wildflowers. This week we went down-valley to hike with Lindsey and her three canine companions in a canyon pretty much in her backyard. We walked an abandoned road up, up, up til we came to a tremendous viewpoint of the snow-covered Sawtooth Mountains underlined with banks of yellow balsamroot sunflowers. Then we followed the ridge to a flat spot, the site of an old hunters’ camp, where we rested before heading down the other side of the ridge. It was a great morning hike.

Ponderosa pines have a wonderful scent when the sun hits the bark

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A puffball emerges from the forest duff

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The Sawtooth’s lie between the Methow Valley and Lake Chelan

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Evidence of old logging activity

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Luna catches her breath

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Balsamroot

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and more balsamroot

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and still more

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Moose is an old dog who still loves his walks

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A relic, possibly from an old hunting camp

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Arnica lines this forest floor. I missed getting photos of the blooming patches.

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A tremendous wildlife tree

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and another one

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Down through fields of balsamroot

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Lindsey points out another trail we could have taken

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Shiny beetle on lupine buds

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Looking back up

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This is the height of the wildflower season on our hill. The elevation of our house is about 1850′ and the colors of spring can be fleeting in this arid climate. Yesterday, before the wind came up, I was particularly struck with the beauty and diversity of this dry site’s wildflowers. Last week’s warm weather has been replaced with the more expected breezy and cool weather of spring.

 

Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata – the signature spring flower of for this valley

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Thompson’s paintbrush (I think), Castilleja thompsonii

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Calochortus sp (sometimes referred to as Cat’s ear)

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Agoseris sp., again I am not sure

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I am pretty sure this is bastard toadflax (not a pretty name for a delicate flower), however where I have seen it before it was more of a salmon color. Comandra umbellata

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Columbia puccoon, Lithospermum ruderale

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Bitterbrush, Purshia tridentata

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Lupine, Lupinus sp

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And another view of balsamroot, looking down-valley to Balky Hill and beyond

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